Get control of health costs
Health insurance premium rates are rising because of increasing health care costs. In 1950, health care costs were 4 percent of gross domestic product; today, they are about 17 percent of GDP. The Medicare actuary projects that by 2030, health care costs will be 27 percent of GDP. This raises a basic question. What happens when our health care system becomes so expensive that many people cannot afford access? In a word, trouble.
Of course we can’t reverse medical advances, but adjustment of the per-procedure reimbursement scheme for doctors probably needs to happen. We could use better coordination of care. A first step would be for people to take personal responsibility for their own obesity and substance abuse.
There are no easy answers, but the current cost curve is unsustainable.
How to write us
The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.
Letter form: Online form, click here
Kahuku isn’t the biggest story
Are you kidding me? The top local media story for the past few days has been the Kahuku debacle. I think this state and country have bigger fish to fry than a group of upset parents. The school broke the rules and that’s that. Move on and get over it. The fact that our local media focuses on this issue as a state crisis is shameful at best. It’s sad but life is full of disappointments, so encourage the kids to learn a positive lesson rather than make them victims. Parents need to get a grip.
Fight back on negative ads
Now that this election is over, we need to brace for the next one in two years. Experts are predicting that the mudslinging will be even worse than this year’s election season. Constitutionally there is nothing that we can do to stop the negative onslaught. The only way politicians will get the message is for the public to be more informed as to the truth behind the negative ads, and not vote for the most offending politician.
I would like to encourage this newspaper to have a regular series where each ad is scrutinized to make sure the candidates are reporting the truth behind the ads. Keep a tally on which candidate has the most negative ads. The politician with the most negative ads loses.
Kennel Club can help, too
My purpose in writing is not to detract from the fine work of the Hawaiian Humane Society. However, yesterday’s Island Voices commentary ( "Help animal shelters care for the most vulnerable among us," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 9) totally overlooked the purpose and function of the American Kennel Club, including conformation standards, junior showmanship, agility, tracking, herding, hunting tests, and conformation trials.
Many dog-loving families participate in these kinds of worthwhile activities, along with supporting their local Humane Society.
Development must be stopped
Thank you for running the science column by Richard Brill ("Earth’s carrying capacity is an inescapable fact," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 5). Can you see to it that the Land Use Commission members read it? When I saw they approved Koa Ridge, I couldn’t even believe it. Why are there no officials calling for a moratorium on new development on Oahu? Oh, I get it, more people, more tax money. Never mind that it’s an island with limited space and resources; trade quality of life for quantity of life, like California did.
Unions exercise power exclusively for Democrats
I agree with the overall thrust of your editorial regarding the GOP’s need to rebuild ("Isle GOP needs to rebuild," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 7). The GOP’s single-minded focus on conservative social issues, while striking a chord with a large group of citizens, clearly misses the mark with respect to the needs of Hawaii. The result has been an inability for new young faces to gain traction except under the flag of Hawaii’s stifling Democratic Party. Your editorial briefly acknowledges this point.
But you fail to describe the underlying source of this grip on power: unions. Increasingly, the power and influence of public sector unions is exclusively in support of Democrats. You may justify the Star-Advertiser’s recommending almost exclusively Democratic candidates based on their political and legislative experience, but it surely undermines the more important need to revive a two-party political system in Hawaii.